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Zipse At The Track

Stewards Come up with a Real Solution in the Million

Real Solution DQ 615 X 400
Photo: Four Footed Fotos


A disqualification in the Arlington Million … it’s happened before and today it happened again. Ken and Sarah Ramsey completed a day of turf domination, by entering the winner’s circle in Chicago’s premier race, but they had to wait a lot longer than the two minutes plus it took to complete the 31st edition of the Million. After a spirited late stretch battle in which the South African invader, The Apache appeared to bravely hold off the rallying Real Solution, it soon became a matter for the stewards.

Alan Garcia, rider of the second place finisher immediately lodged an objection against the Christophe Soumillon ridden winner. Further review of the head-on replay revealed Soumillon whipping his charge left-handed while his mount drifted out from the rail to four or five paths off, by the time he hit the wire. In the process, he impeded Real Solution enough for the stewards to keep the numbers flashing for about five minutes, before finally reversing the decision, and giving Real Solution the win.

A four-year-old Pennsylvania homebred for the Eclipse Award winning couple, Real Solution won for the fourth time in only eight lifetime starts. The Million was also only his third start in the United States. He had finished 4th in the Fort Marcy and 3rd in the Manhattan in his first two starts stateside. Sent off as the fifth choice in the 13-horse field, Real Solution paid $18.80 to his happy backers. The Apache, who finished a head in front of Real Solution, completed the 1 ¼ miles on the firm Arlington turf in 2:00.99.

For Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the placing of Real Solution, as the Arlington Million victor, capped a remarkable day. Earlier in the card, they won the Grade 1 Secretariat with Admiral Kitten, as well as, a strong allowance/optional claimer on the turf with Coalport. Several hundred miles to the east, they also scored in another grade 1 race on the turf when Big Blue Kitten rolled home in Saratoga’s Sword Dancer. A jubilant Ken Ramsey called it, “right up there with winning the Dubai World Cup (in 2005 with Roses in May).”

On the other side of the spectrum, an obviously disappointed Soumillon felt like he was on the best horse. “As you can see, we were the better horse, but he got scared by the screen and shifted out. You see my horse was on the lead and got a little unbalanced, the screen scared him, but we were the best horse.”

The disqualification of The Apache from first, in the Million, was the third in the premier turf event. Both Storming Home and Powerscourt were taken down in back-to-back years in 2003 and 2004. 


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Older Comments about Stewards Come up with a Real Solution in the Million...

racing styles do not change that much..Try to make a presser a stustained horse and they will sulk
Why do they keep sending Little Mike to the lead. Haven't they learned from before not too!
OFT times the stewards have to choose the better or two bad choices. We had one like that recently when the gate malfunctioned and opened a half a second before the field. The horse in that stall took a step BACKWARDS as that door opened so as to have NO preferential position, BUT the rules of racing predominate. Two bad choices.
At least Peter Lurie and Jon White weren't chanting USA.. USA >> or were they? :)
I'm not sure what you're trying to argue here. My non sequitur comment was aimed at the part of your comment that abruptly went off into "They might have kicked the crap out of a couple hundred people then burned the grandstand down." Always interesting when someone imagines two sports coming together in utter chaos.
It's cheerleading. Try going to a Davis Cup Match or the Ryder Cup. The crowds there are non traditional and say a lot but I wouldn't exactly call it classless.
@ILuvTurf, I didn't watch HRTV so I didn't know any of this happened, but I agree with you completely. And LAZ, thanks for the non sequitur I guess?
I guess tht this happens only in America. At least it wasn't a soccer game with fans from other countries watching and cheering. They might have kicked the crap out of a couple hundred people then burned the grandstand down. That usually makes the world news not a racing channel.
For the record, my horse was beaten in the Million so these comments aren't swayed by money whatsoever. I thought it was very unfair on the part of HRTV to allow Alan Garcia to plead his whole case live on national TV without affording Christophe Soumillon the same amount of time to hear his thoughts. Always 2 sides to every story. I also thought it was very classless on the part of HRTV to air it and on the part of Real Solution's connections to start a "take it down" chant live on national TV with the stewards still debating the outcome. I didn't see Mike De Kock or whoever was representing him going around starting a "leave it up" chant. Arlington Million day is an international event, and even if those incidents had no bearing on the stewards decision, you could see where fans from the other countries represented on Saturday could think it might've been biased or preduditial. In the case of The Apache, you probably had as many South African fans watching him as there were from Europe. That said, I thought the stewards made the correct decision for disqualifing Soumillion, I just thought HRTV and the winners connections showed a real lack of class until the decision was made. But only my opinion.
What a stallion Kitten's Joy has become, maybe there should be an Eclipse Award for best stallion, he would get my vote. And notice all the Grade One turf races on the same day and all had large fields and were good betting races. Turf racing in the United States has really been good the last few years, lets hope it continues and we get better fields in the top main track races.
I was hopeful until I saw the head-on replay, $10 win ticket, on the floor.
This one really capped the day off for team Ramsey. That was great to see but it was really great that the majority seemed to agree that the right call was made
Perhaps not, but that was a pretty obvious DQ after they showed the head-on view. Steady left-handed whipping and no effort to control his mount's outward movement until AFTER they had reached the wire.
the FAN is hardly in a position to second guess men who have many times the racing experience and MUCH MORE information.....
This wasn't a popular decision, but I liked it. First of all, Real Solution was my pick. Secondly, I appreciated the consistency from Del Mar to Arlington, as Vibrato Jazz came down for the exact same reason as The Apache on Thursday at Del Mar.

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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